Paul May

EyeShip

12 May 2004

Developed as my undergraduate thesis project with Tim Twomey, EyeShip was a remotely piloted airship that captured TV quality video and sensor data, relayed that content to a ground station. The ground station then streamed this content live on the web.

Our goal with this project was to demonstrate an alternative approach to traditional aerial camerawork - usually done with cranes and booms.

We developed EyeShip, a highly capable aerial camera platform and ground station. Eyeship featured a high quality camera and video transmitter for the core video applications. It also featured a small onboard computer, sensor package and packet radio system that could send altitude and other useful data back to the ground station.

In the intervening years, autonomous drones, and remotely piloted vehicles like EyeShip have become widely available and we are proud to have been somewhat ahead of that trend.

Project Images

Tim Twomey standing with EyeShip. The helium-filled envelope measured just over two metres in length, and could easily lift the camera and sensor payload.
EyeShip's camera pod, which featured a custom-made pan-tilt-zoom mechanism. The unsightly bag of bolts is additional ballast.
The internal electronics of EyeShip showing a motor control board, an OOPic microcontroller, packet radio transceiver and video transmitter.
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  • Paul May is a researcher, interaction designer, and technologist from Dublin, Ireland. He is currently working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on smart health applications.